Airline Bars Alaska State Senator Over Masks Coverage Violation

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Airline Bars Alaska State Senator Over Mask Policy Violation

Alaska Airlines has suspended an Alaska state legislature from its flights for violating its mask guidelines.

Legislator, Lora Reinbold, a Republican Senator, was caught on video discussing the airline's mask rules with Juneau International Airport staff.

"You have to put on your mask, otherwise I won't let you on the flight," a staff member told Ms. Reinbold in the videos that were published on Thursday.

"It's over," replies Ms. Reinbold.

"It's not," says one employee. "It's under your nose. We can't get it down."

It wasn't clear if she was allowed to board the flight and one of the videos showed her exiting the boarding area. In the videos, Ms. Reinbold can be seen wearing a mask. It was not clear what started the confrontation at the airport or what happened immediately before the footage was taken.

Ms. Reinbold said on Facebook that she found out on Saturday that she was not allowed to fly with the airline.

"We have informed Senator Lora Reinbold that she is not allowed to fly with us because she continues to refuse to follow staff instructions regarding the current mask policy," the airline said, adding that the suspension is under review.

Ms. Reinbold said she was suspended before she had a chance to speak to someone from the airline and that she did not receive a "yellow card warning under their policy" according to a post on Facebook.

"There was no due process before a temporary decision, which is currently under consideration, was published," she wrote. “Alaska Airlines has posted information, including my name, to the media without my knowledge or permission. I believe that corporate policy constitutional rights are at risk. "

The conflict over rule of the company was the last to surface over masks in the country during the pandemic. Mask mandates have become a rallying call and a divisive political topic of conversation for some activists. Disputes over the rules have sometimes led to angry confrontations.

Updated

April 26, 2021, 6:10 p.m. ET

In an interview with Fox News last week, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul suggested that President Biden "go on national television, take off his mask, and burn it" to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.

A federal mandate issued in January requires travelers to wear masks on airplanes and at airports, as well as on other public transport, including trains.

According to the federal mandate, the only travelers who are exempt from wearing a mask are children under 2 years of age, a person with a disability who cannot wear or a person “for whom wearing a mask poses a risk to health, safety or would represent the workplace in the workplace. ”

"I test negative weekly," wrote Ms. Reinbold. "I hope people can learn the truth about my actual actions through the misrepresentation of the media."

Ms. Reinbold's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

On Sunday, Ms. Reinbold announced on Facebook that she had traveled by road and ferry to Juneau, Alaska. Without a flight, the drive from the Anchorage area to Juneau takes more than 19 hours.

Last week's episode is not the first confrontation Ms. Reinbold has had with Alaska Airlines. She previously complained about the company on Facebook.

"Masked bullies in full force," Ms. Reinbold said of a flight on Alaska Airlines. "Unfortunately, Alaska Airlines is part of the mask tyranny and is not providing any legal evidence to stop the spread (I can show it causes health problems)."

In February, Alaska Republican Mike Dunleavy sent a letter to Ms. Reinbold urging her not to disclose any more misinformation about the pandemic.

"It is clear that as a civil servant you have renounced the principles of your oath," wrote Dunleavy. "You have challenged the motivation of unelected and apolitical employees who work for the state of Alaska with unfounded allegations that have been proven to you to be false on several occasions."

In March, Ms. Reinbold said on Facebook that she was asked to leave a committee hearing for not wearing an approved face shield. Thereafter, Ms. Reinbold was expelled from the State Capitol until she followed health and safety protocols.

"My actions are to protect my constitutional rights, including civil liberties and those I represent, even under immense pressure and public scrutiny," said Ms. Reinbold.

Ms. Reinbold has since returned to the State Capitol with a clear face mask.

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